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Page last updated at 17:48 GMT, Sunday, 29 March 2009 18:48 UK

Cipriani back in Lions contention

Danny Cipriani
Cipriani did not feature for England in the 2009 Six Nations

Danny Cipriani boosted his chances of making the British & Irish Lions squad after an impressive display in Wasps' 19-14 Premiership defeat by Saracens.

Coach Ian McGeechan, also director of rugby at Wasps, names his squad on 21 April and hailed the 21-year-old's display as his best of the season.

"We'll have to see a bit more (before deciding whether he is ready for the Lions)," said McGeechan.

"That was the best game I've seen Danny play since he's come back."

Cipriani has battled back from a career-threatening ankle injury and McGeechan had previously stated that it remained a concern ahead of the Lions tour to South Africa, which begins on 30 May.

"That was pretty close to where he was last year before he got injured and I can't give him any higher praise than that," added McGeechan.

"That's what's been missing and he had a confidence today that he's not had recently. There were a lot of good things in his game."

Cipriani suffered a fracture dislocation of his ankle in a club match against Bath in May 2008 and still has a screw in his ankle which is scheduled to be removed this summer.


Last week, McGeechan did not rule out picking Cipriani for the tour, and has insisted he is one of 150 players from the British Isles being considered.

However the Scot did admit Cipriani is a work in progress.

"His game is steadily improving but there are bits we need to keep working on," he said.

Cipriani did not make an appearance for England in the Six Nations with the England management deciding to select Toby Flood, Andy Goode and Olly Barkley ahead of him.

McGeechan also refused to comment on stories Cipriani had told the Wasps management he would not be picked for England in the Six Nations.

"I haven't a clue about that - I cannot comment on something happening in another camp," he said.

"Martin Johnson rings us up and tells us which players will be used and which he won't - it's as straightforward as that."

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see also
Saracens 19-14 Wasps
29 Mar 09 |  English
Wasps 21-19 Bristol
22 Mar 09 |  English
England display satisfies Johnson
21 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Cipriani signs new Wasps contract
06 Mar 09 |  London Wasps
Cipriani axed from England team
25 Nov 08 |  English
Cipriani returns to England squad
21 Oct 08 |  English
Gatland accepts Lions appointment
22 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Lions announce SA tour fixtures
10 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Cipriani floored in training row
08 Oct 08 |  London Wasps
Comeback display pleases Cipriani
01 Oct 08 |  London Wasps
Cipriani ruled out for six months
19 May 08 |  English

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